Cornwall Day (St. Piran’s Day) Date in the current year: March 5, 2024

Cornwall Day (St. Piran’s Day) St. Piran’s Day (Gool Peran) is the national day of Cornwall, a ceremonial county in South West England. It is celebrated annually on March 5. The observance is named after Saint Piran, a patron saint of Corwall, who is also considered the patron saint of tin miners.

Saint Piran was a Cornish abbot who lived in the 5th century. He is said to have come to Cornwall from Ireland. Some sources claim that he and Saint Ciaran of Saigir were the same person, explaining the difference in spelling by the peculiarities of pronunciation in different Celtic languages.

According to legend, Irish heathens tied Saint Piran to a millstone and rolled it over the edge of a cliff. The moment Piran fell into the stormy sea, it became calm. The millstone floated over the water and eventually landed in Cornwall. Saint Piran decided to remain there and became a hermit. His austerity, sanctity and gift of miracles earned him the veneration of locals. Together with his Christian converts, Saint Piran founded an abbey in Cornwall. He is also credited with rediscovering tin smelting.

Originally, St. Piran’s Day was observed by Cornish tin miners. Tin mining became an important sector of the economy of Cornwall during the High Middle Ages and reached its peak in the 19th century, when Cornwall became the world’s leading tin mining region. However, tin mining began to decline in the 2nd half of the 19th century. The last tin mine in Cornwall closed in 1998.

While the tin mining industry was declining, St. Piran’s Day transformed from a tinners’ holiday into the national day of Cornwall. The process began in the late 19th and early 20th century, when Celtic Revivalists campaigned for creating a national day for the people of Cornwall, similar to those observed in other parts of England.

The celebration has become increasingly popular since the mid-20th century. Today, St. Piran’s Day is celebrated throughout Cornwall. Almost every community in the county holds some sort of celebration, which usually includes colorful parades, speeches, traditional Cornish music and dance, concerts, poetry readings, special events for school children, sports competitions, and other events and activities. St. Piran’s Flag (a white cross on a black field, symbolizing melted tin on dark ore) can be seen flying throughout the country on March 5.

In 2006 Dan Rogerson, an MP for North Cornwall, suggested that St. Piran’s Day be declared a public holiday in Cornwall. After that, the suggestion to celebrate St. Piran’s Day instead of the May Day Bank Holiday has been voiced several times, but it hasn’t found enough support. However, nine Cornish towns and cities give their staff a day off work on the occasion, and some schools in Cornwall allow parents to take their children out of school for the day.

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St. Piran’s Day in Cornwall, religious observances, holidays in England, holidays in Cornwall, national day of Cornwall